Alia urges support of Benue people for his admnistration

Benue State Governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, has called for the continued support of the people of Benue for his administration, so that together, they can reposition the state on the global map.

Governor Alia stated this while delivering his speech during this year’s Democracy Day celebrations at the Ibrahim Badamoshi Babangida (IBB) Square, Makurdi.

He said that upon assuming office, his administration met Benue in an economic ditch and immediately began working to engender economic growth through agriculture.

Governor Alia assured that his administration is more than committed to improving the livelihoods of all and sundry in the state, especially through agriculture.

“We are currently setting up a multifunctional fashion hub in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President, to benefit over 250 professionals in the industry.

“In a similar vein, with 34 out of Nigeria’s 46 solid mineral deposits in Benue, we are on the verge of becoming a mining powerhouse. In view of this, we have partnered with Sound Core to clean up and develop the mining sector, projecting 3.5 billion Naira in revenue through our annual surface rent scheme.

“While tackling illegal mining and educating communities on the legal benefits, our administration, in collaboration with the Federal Government, has formed the Mineral Resource and Environmental Management Committee to protect resources and manage community conflicts.

“We have revitalized government assets, including the Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC) Kaduna Plaza, as well as the Guest Houses in Kaduna and Makurdi towns, respectively. While transitioning to digital operations for better service delivery, we have also commissioned a BIPC bakery and water factory, and launched the Emperor Fertilizer and Motorcycle Hire Scheme, all domiciled in the state.”

Governor Alia said that in the education sector, his administration has made great strides towards repositioning it, right from the primary to the tertiary level.

According to him, as part of palliatives for the removal of fuel subsidy, his government decided to pay for the 2023/2024 examination fees of all students in government-approved public secondary schools in the state sitting for the West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO), and National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) examinations, respectively.

“At Benue State University, we have expanded academic programmes, established new faculties, restored scholarships for medical students, and paid outstanding salary arrears. We have upgraded the ICT facilities, preparing over 10,000 youths for the global market. The idea is to train over 60,000 youths.

“As proof of our zeal towards re-writing the narrative of the education sector in Benue, we allocated 15% of the 2024 budget to education, surpassing the 7% at the Federal level. We have also trained over 150 headteachers and distributed over 100,000 instructional materials across public schools in the state to enhance teaching and learning.

“This is coupled with the establishment of the Benue State Education Quality Assurance Agency (BEQA), saddled with the responsibility of daily monitoring and evaluation of all schools across the state, with the aim of improving the standard and quality of education, as well as reawakening teachers and staff to their responsibilities.

“This has so far yielded huge results, notably being the recent clinching of an international debate trophy in Indonesia, by four Benue secondary school students who represented Nigeria,” Alia concluded.

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